Undiscovered Georgia: go before it’s too late

Georgia, a country I had actually never thought of visiting before. You do? We came upon it to vacation to Georgia after our trip in Kazakhstan. We ate there in one of the Georgian restaurants that dot the city of Almaty . And we drank Georgian wine. Hmmmm, the food as well as the wine struck a chord. After some Google work, we were convinced that we wanted to put this country on our bucket list. And last June was the day. Georgia! We did not go alone, but together with our friends from Berlin, whom we met in Bogotá. Kind of exciting that was, traveling together with another couple. But fortunately it went very well.

Our final verdict on Georgia? An underrated country and definitely worth visiting! Why? Well below I explain it to you in great detail:

1. Capital of Georgia: Tbilisi is a super fun city!

Tbilisi is the capital of Georgia, but I must honestly confess that I had never heard of it. What a shame! Tbilisi has a beautiful old center, lots of possibilities for day trips in the area as well as great vegetarian and vegan restaurants. Read all the tips for this fine compact capital city.

2. David Garedzja

An old monastery complex where even 10 monks still live. It includes a small hike (first 15 to 20 minutes of steep uphill, but fine after that). You even briefly enter Azerbaijan. Fine day trip from Tbilisi. We went with David Garedzja Line, they take you back and forth to this beautiful complex for 25 lari. They leave at 11 in the morning at Pushkin square which is near Freedom Square and tourist information. Extra is that they stop at Oasis, a little restaurant set up by a Pole in the middle of nowhere where you can eat delicious vega(n) soup! And chill in the fine beach chairs.


3. Gori

Gori doesn’t have much special. At least, at first glance. But did you know that it is the birthplace of Stalin? Surely the people of Gori are kind of proud of this, because so there is a whole museum about this infamous man of Soviet times. There is no mention of his deeds in this museum except his “good” deeds. This too can be done with a day trip from Tbilisi. The marshrutka goes from Didube bus station and can be reached by metro (the metro costs 0.50 lari cents per ride). The marshrutka costs 3 lari (6 for return) per person and takes about one hour.

4. Georgia’s natural beauty

Despite the fact that Georgia has long been (and continues to be) burdened by political tensions in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as a traveler you fortunately do not notice much of this in practice. But unfortunately, you cannot enter here during your trip through Georgia. Where you can and really should go are Svanetia and Kazbegi. Especially if you like hiking. Kazbegi is about a 3-hour drive from Tbilisi and there are so many guesthouses that you can sleep anywhere. From Kazbegi, you can hike to Gergeti Church. This takes about 3 hours round trip. It took us over 4 hours including taking pictures and waiting for each other while taking pictures. Unfortunately, we were unlucky with the weather and went back to Tbilisi after 1 night.

mestia city

But we still found the most beautiful area to be Svanetia. There are several routes in this Caucasus region but one that we heard a lot is the route Mestia to Ushghuli. In 3 to 4 days you will walk from Mestia to the highest city in Europe (Georgia considers itself European, but is actually in Asia). You can also do excellent day hikes from Mestia . We went to the Chaladi Glacier which is fine day trip. Learn more about Svanetia. How to get there, what it costs and what else you can do there!

5. Chilling at the beach

On the mile-long (pebble) beach of the Black Sea you will find many places where you can relax. There are several places that are popular with tourists. Especially with Russian, Iranian (one of the few countries they can travel to without a visa) and Indian tourists. You can go to Batumi, the largest city on the Black Sea. We were here for 3 days and found it so-so…Fine to have seen, but not incredibly beautiful. Fortunately, there was still a very small old center, but otherwise you will find many flats, towers and structures. Renting a beach bed costs about 3 lari and an umbrella 1 lari. But sometimes you don’t have to pay there at all (late June).

Batumi has a pebble beach, which I actually had no experience with. And I can tell you, it’s not too bad! I thought I would have pain everywhere, but when you just lie quietly, there is nothing wrong. Fortunately, beach beds are cheap, so you don’t have to leave it at that. Besides lying on the beach, you can go to the botanical garden and there are several national parks nearby. So there is no need to be bored.

Looking for peace and quiet?

By the way, we understood that in August the place is very crowded with partying teenagers. With today’s experience, would choose Kobuleti. A slightly smaller town, but also some places to eat AND no big apartment buildings. A day in Batumi to have seen it is fine in our opinion. Do you want to get all the rest? Then go to Ureki. There, by the way, they have a sandy beach, should your pers é want it.

Of course you can do much more! So you can go to Kaktheki, the wine region and explore the whole area there. We had no more time for this. Should you have been here, we would love to hear how you liked it!

Oh yeah, funny fact: by the way, did you know that the first lady of Georgia’s ex-president was Dutch?

Read more about Georgia

>Natural beauty in Mestia and surroundings
> Vegetarian and vegan food in Tbilisi >
> Tbilisi the hidden gem